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King of the Mother's Day Buffet!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First off, I hope everyone had an enjoyable Mother's Day in one capacity or another.

Last week, when I asked SWMBO if she wanted to do anything special for Mother's day, she said, "Yeah, let's go to Sunday Brunch!"

There's this seaside place down the road that we really like and they do a mean Sunday Brunch and it's right on the Santa Rosa Sound.

OK, I asked her, so I couldn't back out, the best I could possibly do was prepare for it, which I did....starting Saturday.

I basically reversed my eating schedule yesterday, having the bulk of my food at breakfast and lunch, then made a green smoothie for dinner.

This morning, I had a banana and an apple a couple of hours before our reservation slot and I was feeling pretty good by the time we got there.

We know the restaurant owner real well, chatted him up when we got there and he took us around to show us all the goodies (this helped a lot too.....I wanted to know exactly what was in everything they made!)

As good as the chicken cordon bleu looked, as much as the egg casserole, covered with burnt sharp cheddar & sausage called my name, as tempting as the trays filled with crab legs & melted butter drew the crowd, I had a plan!

While SWMBO and #2 son went their own way, I made a beeline for the baked whole salmon! He was a thing of beauty! Everyone was going for the big trays of cheesy, saucy, buttery things.....King Salmon appeared to be all mine!

Next, I made my way to the very colorful tray chock full of 3 types of string beans; green, yellow, and purple! Loaded up a third of my plate with those, then heaped on some peeled shrimps and asked the chef at the carving station to cut me a wafer-thin slice of juicy roast beast!

I thought about taking a picture of my plate, but another couple we knew came by our table to say hello, and by the time they left, I had forgotten....oh well, take my word for it, it was very colorful, looked scrumptious, and probably had barely 500 calories on it.

My indulgence though was the bread pudding!! Growing up in Boston, I never liked it much, but somehow, I've grown nostalgic for a good bread pudding.....and Thom makes some seriously awesome bread pudding.

As best I can tell, I got out of brunch for about 1000 calories....probably a third of which was due to the well as a second helping of King Salmon. Not too bad for a buffet, especially when all three of us sat gawking as the family at the table next to ours made what appeared to be 4 trips, coming back with plates chock full of bacon, eggs & potatoes, cheese & sauce covered foods, tens of crab legs with accompanying butter cups, and desserts out the wazoo.

That could have been me pre-Spark! I thank God I changed my outlook. I used to feel compelled to "get my money's worth" out of buffets. Today I just want to survive them.

We came back home, made all our calls (SWMBO's mom, my mom, #1 son called SWMBO, my sister, my sister-in-law, yadda-yaddda-yadda). We gave SWMBO her gifts (loaded her up with her favorite perfumes and #2 son and I collaborated, giving her a collection of books commemorating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting.....she's a fanatic!)

Then we had a family afternoon of Wii bowling (I won!). When she tuckered out for a nap, I hit the gym to do some HIIT on the elliptical and knock out a serious abs routine.

I've added plank intervals to change things up. Feet elevated on a bench, I hold it for 90 seconds, rest for 60, repeat 3 times.

They were brutal!

I read about them in a book I got the other day (a real book, not a kindle book!), The New Rules of Lifting for Abs. The NROL series is pretty good, and this one delivers like the others

It recommends starting out to hold them for 30-60 seconds. So of course I went for 90.

Did I mention they were brutal?

Then I came home and got out my ab wheel, which I started using again after having this annoying twinge in my back these past 10 days that not even back extensions has helped. Three sets of 10 a few days in a row has worked wonders.

Dinner was light. SWMBO opted to make her own Mexican stir fry. I opted out and broke open a bag of salad, sliced up some chicken breast we had cooked up earlier in the week, and I might just end this day under my calorie limits, which makes for a Mother's day gift even I can enjoy!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERYL_B 5/15/2012 10:40PM

    I hate buffets - way too many temptations and I feel like I should indulge for that kind of money.

Love that you gave her gs books for mother's day!

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    Great job! I did pretty well yesterday although I need to stop going for second helpings at family functions!

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    *bows down to the kink of buffets*

Way to go on exercising your willpower!

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/14/2012 10:53AM

    All hail the King of Buffets!
I'm liking the looks of the incline plank intervals. I've *got * start paying better attention to my core--after a run my lower back that complains more than my legs or my arthritic toes do : )

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SAFARIBABE 5/14/2012 9:10AM

    You truly are the King of buffets! I would have at least had some eggs! I love eggs and almost never cook them for myself. It sounds like SWMBO had a great mothers day and you didn't do too bad either Dad!! WTG

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Bodymedia Fit CORE armband....2 week initial thoughts

Saturday, May 12, 2012

So I'm 2 weeks into wearing my Bodymedia Fit CORE armband.....and I'm pretty glad I got it! I've learned some very interesting things.....

First of all, I pretty much stole it from Amazon. It retails for $149, they were selling it for $116, then Jeff Bezos offered a $30 "virtual coupon" + free shipping, so it came to my house for $86!

I wear it for about 22-23 hours a day, including sleeping at night, and don't notice it at all. I plug it into the micro-USB dock in the morning while I shower & shave and it quickly downloads all my data & charges back up in no time (it's advertised to go up to 6 days without a charge).

So the coolest part is the minute-by-minute tracking it give you of your activity to include: steps taken, your sleep duration and "efficiency", physical activity (vigorous, moderate), and calories burned.

The calories burned is what I find the most interesting. The doofer has 2 sensors on the side against your skin (you're supposed to wear it on your left triceps) that measures galvanic skin response, temperature, heat flux, and motion via 3-accelerometers.

It gathers all your numbers throughout the day, runs them through the gonculator and gives you what it claims to be a pretty accurate picture of how many calories YOU burned in the day, not an approximation based on age, weight, height, etc. You can zoom in and see when you were most active, how the calorie burn tapered off as your body cooled down, etc.

The website allows you to track calories too. Since I use SP to track all my food, I just enter the total calories I ate for the day and it gives me the delta between calories in and calories out.

So what have I learned? Well, I burn a lot of calories. On my laziest days where I have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, I register about 2100 calories. On a single workout day, that number goes up to 2500-2700. On 2 workout day, up to 2900-3100.

I see that my body recovers pretty darn fast….not sure what the hubbub is about with the concept of EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) or “Afterburn”, where you keep burning more calories long after your workout…..I’m not quite seeing it. If it exists, it must be pretty small. I have seen similar results from my HRM….my heart rate gets back to resting levels about 15-20 minutes after a hard workout.

Maybe, as you get fitter, even with all the benefits of being in shape, it does get harder to feel the effects as your body gets acclimated…..I don’t know!

I also see that I only sleep about 4-5 hours every night, even though I might be lying down for 6-7. And I have long hours of sedentary time at work, then bursts of energy as I hit the gym…..maybe one of the things I need to do more of is to get up and walk around during the day….and get some more solid sleep as well

All in all, it’s a pretty interesting gizmo….it appeals to my inner geek and has given me a bunch to think about!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMSMILEY88 5/16/2012 10:13AM

    Very interesting! And, I sure don't know how you get by on 4-5 hours of sleep a night! emoticon Give me at least 8 hours... emoticon

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SHERYL_B 5/15/2012 10:30PM

    You've made me much more interested. Thanks for the update!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/14/2012 4:43PM

    Glad you're finding it useful! I love my BMF Link (same device except links by Bluetooth to my phone); I used a bodybugg for two years before switching because of the more extensive reports available. These are great tools to help on the journey!

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PROT358 5/13/2012 10:32PM

    I'm going to have to get one! I know I don't burn close to that many calories on an unproductive day! From reading your blogs I bet you have quite a bit of muscle mass which of course helps the equation.

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CLAIREINPARIS 5/13/2012 10:46AM

    It sounds really interesting. Thanks for posting an update about it! I like the idea of more accurate information, throughout the day too... rather than approximative ones.

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SAFARIBABE 5/13/2012 9:08AM

    WOW! Sounds like you're getting some keen insight into your health patterns. Perhaps this bears closer scrutiny!! I can use all the insight I can get!! LOL

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    Yeah, I don't know what all the hub-bub is about dealing with the afterburn, either. I'm also not seeing it in my caloric burn. I also concur about the needing to actually DO more moving/walking during the day. Sleeping burns almost as much as sitting down does, if not next to the same amount....which isn't much at all. Even light walking burns more. I sleep around 4-6 hours a night (around 5ish, usually), with over a 91% sleep efficiency rate- usually around 93-95%, and am laying down a little longer- maybe an extra 15-30 minutes. I found the day I got a sleep efficiency rate in the 80's I felt extra tired. I should get more sleep, period. lol

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BOB240 5/13/2012 1:24AM

    It's claimed that EPOCH is most stimulated by HEAVY weight sessions and severe HIIT. Might be fun to do some serious barbel work to see if you can see anything. I certainly feel "hottest" after a weights session whereas a big cardio session (medium intensity) leaves me feeling different.

Having said that some research claims epoch doesn't really count for much and the evidence is that cardio isn't a great way to lose weight...

My experience always has been that you need all three - serious diet, serious weight training and serious cardio.

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    Glad you like it! I love my Bodybugg, which is pretty much the same thing. Except it doesn't tell me quality of physical activity. I have found that I burn a lot less calories during a hard workout that my regular wrist HRM says. A BIG eye opener. :)

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PATTOMMC3 5/12/2012 9:58PM

    Sounds interesting. I think it would help you to focus on areas that you need improvement in.


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UMBILICAL 5/12/2012 9:54PM

  Cool device

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Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wahoo, I got in my 2 workouts today!

Don't ask why it all of a sudden became so important that I get in a cardio and an ST session on the same day....I just got the idea in my head to do it, and, like a determined Rottweiler, I wasn't content till I got them in.

So today felt very good. Did a spin class at lunch, then lifted on my own after work (Trainer guy is on some missionary trip to Mexico this week....go figure)

I worked on our usual routines, but eased up on the weight a little to make sure I didn't hurt myself without trainer guy spotting me. It actually felt pretty good to go about 20 lbs lighter and focus on slow controlled movements, making sure I had the forms down right.

Got back home and SWMBO was grilling some salmon on the deck. Double yum, just what I needed.

I made sure to be especially sweet as I came in. She quit smoking this week, and while the hypno-therapy has kept her from lighting up, apparently the doc forgot to put in the "anti-bitchy" suggestion into her subconscious. It's been like having Torquemada walking around the house since Tuesday!

Maybe that's why I felt the need to get in a double workout!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 5/13/2012 10:43AM

    emoticonOops, yes, try and be really sweet these days!!! But good for your wife for quitting smoking, it must be so tough! (I am for ever thankful I never started...)
As for you, you ROCK!!!

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HAKAPES 5/12/2012 1:29PM

    That's determination, man! You rock!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/11/2012 2:09PM

    emoticonyes just keep being extra sweet and hopefully the anti-bitch serum will kick in?

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FANGFACEKITTY 5/11/2012 12:36PM

    I have little doubt you will survive the Inquisition. I have no advice to offer as I've never smoked so don't fully appreciate the withdrawal symptoms except that my kids tell me the best thing to do when I'm in a mood is for them to hide out somewhere else until it passes. Maybe you need to decide which is the lesser of two evils...Torquemada or the sadistic Nazi trainer guy.

I really hope SWMBO doesn't read your blogs b/c it's nice having you here and I wouldn't want to see a funeral notice.

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/11/2012 11:00AM

    ditto what JECKIE asks

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    Ha! Love the visual you painted.

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BRADOS 5/10/2012 11:05PM

    nice job finding ways to get those sessions in - way to go

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KAYZAKCX 5/10/2012 9:52PM

    My mom tried to quit smoking several times. Didn't occur to me until much later that those times corresponded to me getting in more trouble than usual. I feel your pain.

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    When I quit smoking I found that a hand-held solitaire game (or now - a game on your cell phone) REALLY helped keep my hands and brain busy and helped with the cravings and irritability. Good luck and good for her!

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SAFARIBABE 5/10/2012 8:36PM

    Yikes sounds like she's having a rough go of it. I feel pretty good on the Zyban. Not overly bitchy....well no more than usual anyway! And it allowed me to taper off til I was ready to just stop. Which...was today! So if I can go another 2.5 hours....that's day 1! Tell SWMBO I'm feeling her pain. But she CAN do it!! Tell her to hang in there. 3 days and the nicotine is out of your system. Then it's just battling the mental desire.

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JECKIE 5/10/2012 8:35PM

    *falls over laughing*
Um... so she doesn't read your blog, right? :)

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1 of 2 workouts ain't sooooo bad.....

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Well 2 days in a row I got busier than I expected to at work and so curtailed my workout plans.

Yesterday I got wicked swamped and stayed late, then on top of that, I had forgotten that SWMBO had her hypno-therapy to quit smoking and I offered to take us out to dinner to hear all about it. (more to follow on that in the next few days. Sounded....interesting.)

Anyway, I barely had enough time to get home, change, pack her up and go for a quick bite at a local seafood joint.

So I was determined to get in 2 workouts today; a lunchtime spin class and a post workout ST session.

I was 1 for 2 on the scoreboard.

I re-arranged some meetings between 11:00 and 1:00 in order to make the spin class which was great! Worked up a good sweat and curvilicious instructor had a power playlist going today (try doing intervals to Radar Love sometime!)

Afterwards, a tsunami of paper hit my's appraisal time on top of a bunch of other personnel moves I've got going on this summer, so bottom ST today!

The good news.....nothing is going to stop me from a double session tomorrow!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERYL_B 5/11/2012 8:44PM

    Congrats on your planning.

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SAFARIBABE 5/10/2012 8:28PM

    I know how you feel. My boss moved the department meeting right onto my last chance workout time this afternoon!! Gggggggrrrrrrr!!!!! WTG to you for getting there twice today!! How did SWMBO's quit smoking session go? If I can stay away from the bodega for the next 3.5 hours today is officially day 1 of no smokes!! So tell her I'm with her in this!!

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HAKAPES 5/10/2012 7:23PM

    I love the Tsunami of paper! :-)

I'm on travel again, I use your blogs as motivation to be determined to fit exercise in!

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BILL60 5/10/2012 8:25AM

    I remember those types of days. Happy to say, that's all in the past. The only things stopping me now are sickness (rarely) and "Honey-Do's" (also rarely). Hang tough cause your day will come.

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    I hate running out of time to exercise! Doubles are awesome when a person can do 'em...tomorrow won't know what hit it when you get there!

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    Planning ahead to succeed - excellent! Working out regularly will get you through all the high pressure days at the office!

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    Sounds like a good plan. I hate it when I run out of time to exercise! I'm loving these shorter Insanity workouts though. :)

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Cinco de Mayo recovery

Sunday, May 06, 2012

So Cinco de Mayo went off quite nicely....and so did movie theater night at The Avengers.

We hit our favorite joint (award winning Pepitos in Destin, FL), got there early (first ones in the door!), and enjoyed their most excellent chips and even better salsa (we always order up a quart to take home with us!) as we perused the menu.

SWMBO went wild, ordering a Margarita to start, then rattled off a list of her favorites to the waiter (flautas, enchillada, and others items from the a la carte menu....yet somehow, she always manages to stay a steady 125 lbs!), #2 son was happy with tacos, and I decided to go for a nice bowl of caldo de pollo.....chicken soup, loaded with veggies, chiles, parsley, and tons of broth. It was good and there was tons of it, so I took home a more than half of it to have later in the the day...worst case, it was a 400 calorie lunch, most of which was due to the tortilla chip appetizers!

#2 son's date night to see the The Avengers went nicely too. We met the girl and her dad at the mall nearby, had dinner at the food court (I had some chicken stir fry & veggies....about 600 calories I guessed), then some popcorn (200 calories?) once we got seated in the theater.

So my previous Quattro de Mayo angst (
) helped pave the way for me to think & plan my way through the fiesta day....and I buttressed the plan with a good hour of cardio & sit-ups at the gym before hitting the movie.

The movie was pretty freaking great! The kids enjoyed it, I enjoyed, and I think the gal's dad enjoyed, but I couldn't really tell....he was demonstrably undemonstrative. I can be quite engaging and personable, but he wasn't really helping out much. He would give one word answers to my most penetrating questions, a simple nod of the head to my funniest stories, and didn't even blink or make a pretense of an offer to split the bill when I got out my credit card to pay for ALL FOUR of our tickets! His only demonstration of affect was a nervous Rainman like banter when he thought we were in the wrong line for the movie (We weren't. I knew because I actually TALKED to someone to get the information!)

So rather than sit next to him at the movie, I put the kids in between us, and surfed on my iPhone during the previews while the kids chatted each other up. I told SWMBO afterwards that she better start making friends with the mom, because I wasn't willing to build too many more bridges with the dad unless he gave signs of meeting me halfway. I think he just possesses an apathetic soul....


Today I had a great morning, sitting on our back deck reading on a beautifully, breezy spring day.

I finished up one book, then started another by Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian crime novelist who uses great language, is pretty funny, and makes some great connections to tie up all the many threads in his stories. I finally tore myself away around 3:00 to hit the gym and get a haircut.

A good book, a sunny day, a view of the totally got my mind off the oddities of last night....until I started blogging about it!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNUZSUZ 5/10/2012 10:14PM

    Loved your story, you told it well:)

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/9/2012 4:43PM

    Sounds like it was a great day!

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    Dads are funnier about daughters than sons, he was probably stressed almost to breaking at the thought of Daddy's little girl being grown up enough to date. Maybe he'll come around once he gets more used t the idea.

Was The Avengers good enough to justify a hours drive to a drive in? That's one of the offerings at the drive in here and I've been waiting for something to be worth the trip.

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KAYZAKCX 5/7/2012 3:13PM

    Could've been the other dad was just so freaking nervous he was paralyzed. I've been like that in similar situations However, I learned. Quickly.Don't write him off just yet.Having SWMBO make a relationship with other guy's wife is a good idea. I took my g/f to the Avengers last night. We both really enjoyed it, as well. I wish, though I had seen it Saturday night. My daughter and her sweetie went to see then and we would've ended up in the same theater. Oh, the havoc I could've played.....

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SAFARIBABE 5/7/2012 7:53AM

    Sounds like an interesting guy this girl's dad. At least the daughter seemed to be personable if she was chatting up Son #2. Perhaps you mistook dad for a brick somewhere between dinner and the movies? Anyway, so where's the movie review??? Come on man you're slacking! You always give us the movie reviews. You're the Ebert of Northern Florida!! LOL

Glad you had a good weekend! My mom gave me on of Nesbo's books. I'll have to check it out!! Have a great Monday!!

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/7/2012 1:52AM

    Ya gotta wonder what's going through the mind of a guy like Other Dad when he can't even pretend to have social graces for his child's sake . . . .
Good job on making the date a success for the kids' sake anyway.

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    Sounds like a good day...besides the other dad. Perhaps it was a one-off day for him?

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    Glad you had a good day! :) Sounds fun! Too bad the dad wasn't very personable though. :)

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